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Thank Goodness for Warm Jackets

Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act

I don’t know if I’ve been feeling the cold more since I came back from my birthday trip, or it’s just been A LOT colder, but I can tell you, taking pictures has been pretty painful 🙁 . It probably doesn’t help that my whole family, including me, has been sick all week with the flu.

It seems like we get moments of optimism where the sun shines, it gets up above 50 degrees and I start craving riding my mountain bike again. Of course, the foothills are still covered in snow, so I realize that it won’t be around the corner, but I do at least get hope. Then, just like this week, it snows, snows again and gets to temperatures in single digits or the teens.

Are you anything like me where you have a hard time thinking about style and fashion when you’re really cold? I find myself just wanted to wrap up in thermals and not leave the house (if only that were possible). Unfortunately, because it isn’t possible, I find myself searching my closet trying to come up with ways to create looks that make me happy while at the same time trying to not freeze to death – LOL.

A good jacket definitely helps, but when the wind is blowing hard and you have to stand outside for more than 5 minutes, the thickness of your pants and the amount of skin you are showing becomes more and more important. I know when I am going somewhere like skiing or sledding I am always really prepared but I find myself not quite so prepared for day to day activities.

This outfit that I’m wearing was perfect for a workday, but not so much for standing outside taking pictures – which of course I had to do because the lighting was just right.

I am linking the details of my outfit (the top is sold out but I have linked some similar), and the jacket is ON SALE so such a great deal. Click the links below to shop any of the pieces of my outfit.

Plans for the weekend: Sleep, clean, shop (ordering delivery from Costco because I hate going there at the weekend), and relax.

What do you have planned?

Color is Important

Why live as one single color of crayon when you can live as the whole box and color the whole world!

When we pick out the clothes we are going to wear finding a color we like is not enough. Knowing that certain colors suit you more than others is something to keep in your back pocket when shopping and putting together an outfit.

There are a lot of things that play into whether a color suits you or not…such as: skin tone, hair color, eye color, attitude (yes, I said attitude – if you are sassy and confident you are much more likely to feel comfortable in a bold, bright red than if you are shy and withdrawn), and even our mood. Of course we are always drawn to colors we love, and I am definitely no exception. When I find a style in a color that I love, I always hold it up against my face before I even try it on to see what it makes me feel like. On a good day I am pretty certain that I love it and that it will look good on me, but on a bad day (a day when I am not sure of my emotions, how I am feeling or if something else is affecting me), that’s when I seek an outside opinion.

There are definitely times of the year that some colors are more available than others…for example this mustard colored sweater. Mustard is a color that is very often associated with fall or autumn, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be worn at other times. In fact, I kind of love wearing colors that you don’t see a lot of people wearing at certain times of the year. Because the color of my sweater is not as prevalent during winter months, that’s when I am choosing to wear it – you know the whole “standing out” thing 😉

Going back to colors being more readily available at certain times of the year, you can guarantee that each season fashions are going to be put out in certain colors that they have picked for some reason. But here’s the important thing to remember…just because a color is “in style” doesn’t mean you have to wear it. If your skin tone works really well with a cool red but the season’s color is an orange red, that doesn’t mean that you suddenly have to start wearing it. I believe that the season’s styles, colors and textures are just a guideline – they are only there to enhance what we already know we want to wear.

For those of you out there that only love to wear black or grey, go on and express yourself. The only caveat I would offer is that sometimes dark colors like black and grey can make you look pale and withdrawn. If you feel most comfortable in those colors because that’s your style, I get it. For those of you that do it because you are afraid to express yourself or you aren’t sure what other colors might suit you – then I would recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and trying a new color each week. Who knows, you might actually find that you love color!

Remember, our confidence grows when we are not afraid to step outside our comfort zone and try something new!

Shop some of my top color picks by clicking the links below…

Real Not Perfect

Shop my look & similar by clicking the links at the bottom of the post

To be worthy doesn’t mean having to be perfect!

Perfection is something that is one of those unattainable goals that we somehow seem to be striving for, always in vain. We set expectations on ourselves and set ourselves up for failure when our goal or expectation is to become perfect.

It is easy to get caught up in wanting ourselves to be perfect, but it is also very dangerous because when we are wanting that perfection it very often doesn’t stop at ourselves and we come to want or even expect that from others around us as well!

In previous posts I’ve talked a little about how comparison of ourselves to others is fatal, and in this age of social media, it’s really hard to not allow ourselves to succumb to such self-sabotaging behavior. So how do we change our mindset so that striving for personal excellence is what we aim for? Here are some things that I use daily and they work for me:

  1. Choose to focus only on being better each day than the day before – rather than focusing on what we’re doing wrong or we’re not great at.
  2. Choose to appreciate and love the things we are good at and build on those…
  3. Practice positive self-talk so that we can start to realize how amazing we are.
  4. Allow ourselves to celebrate any victory, whether great or small. That way we are not always dissatisfied with our results. We have to appreciate the small things first otherwise we won’t know what the big things are!
  5. Don’t just focus on the outcome – a lot of growth and strength building comes in the journey. In the learning – you know, the falling down and getting up!
  6. Sometimes procrastination comes from not wanting to not be able to complete something or do it perfectly. Allowing ourselves the grace to not finish something immediately gives us the opportunity to avoid procrastination and learn something along the way.

I know when I let go of my need to control everything, my need for things to go EXACTLY according to a plan I might have in my mind, I am always pleasantly surprised by the results I get. My expectations have been known to get me into trouble, because I promise you the scenarios and outcomes I create in my mind are so much more elaborate than I could ever create in real life. It took me a while to realize that I didn’t want to hold myself back and I certainly didn’t want to be unhappy…but once I did, it created a huge amount of freedom and was light a weight being lifted off my shoulders.

I used to think that the pressure I put on myself – the pressure to create success and fulfillment – was what made me successful, but what I have realized after A LONG time is that it’s actually the opposite. I am always going to be driven, motivated, have a love of stepping out of my comfort zone, but it was actually the expectations and the need for perfection that held me back rather than making me better. It’s hard to come to the realization that I was sabotaging my own success, but once I did and I became conscious about my behavior…that’s when the magic started to happen!

Winter Days

The best thing you can do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the FIRE!

One thing I have written about quite a bit on my blog is how much I really don’t like the cold, but what I wanted to talk about today is how I have learned to embrace winter and what tricks I have used to do that.

Let me start by telling you a story about why cold hasn’t been my favorite thing. As you know, I grew up in England and my family lived there until 20 years ago when we moved here. Our home in England was middle class and pretty big for the UK. We were one of the first people I knew to get a dishwasher, and I had my own en-suite bathroom (pretty rare for England). We didn’t get snow like we do here in Utah in the winter, however, as you know, there was PLENTY of rain.

One of the things about damp climates is that the cold cuts right to the bone, and it is hard to plan for that cold because it is so damp. There was no central air in our home, in fact there were no homes that I knew of that did have central air…we all had radiators in each room to heat them. The thing about radiators is that it takes a while and it never quite feels like it’s really warm, again because they are filled with water and create damp heat. In my room I remember frost being on the INSIDE of the window pretty much every morning that I woke up and I had a heated blanket under my fitted sheet on my bed so that my bed wasn’t cold at bedtime.

My memories of damp and cold soggy days with little to no sunshine in England definitely catalyzed my disdain for cold…but I am learning to embrace it and even love it to some degree. So what’s my secret…?

  1. I search for something that I can love about each and every day that is cold. For example, on a sunny day with blue skies, I take time to appreciate and love the beauty of the mountains and the skies. If it is a grey day I appreciate the fact that I can light the fire and spend time cozy inside.
  2. I stay active. During winter months it is easy to become sedentary and not do too much, so I make sure that I am still actively working out and eating healthy because it makes me appreciate my health.
  3. I make sure that I am prepared. It is still important for me to look good even in the winter but there are so many ways to do it AND make sure that you are adequately prepared so that your hands, feet, head, ears and body are not cold. There are so many cute winter clothes now that there is never a reason to be cold or unprepared when venturing outside.
  4. Taking time to cook – when I get home from work I often don’t want to go out again, so I plan ahead and make sure I have all the ingredients I want to make a great family meal. I have found that my cooking is much more adventurous during colder months because I do it so much more often.
  5. I like to plan time to go somewhere a little warmer. Beaches are my favorite, but even a few hours south of us the weather becomes much nicer and it is a trip just about anyone can take.
  6. I choose to have fun and be silly. I have found that the more I focus o the negativity of how cold it is, the more cold it seems to feel. I choose to focus on the positivity and what I can appreciate about it.

Mondays can be hard, especially cold Mondays – but what if you thought of it as just another day instead of a cold Monday?

Choosing how to experience something is the key to mastering inner peace. I don’t know about you, but inner peace sounds pretty good right about now!

January Bleakness

My dreams are my dress rehearsals for my future!

January in Utah is probably my least favorite month. I love the whole new beginning of it, but the bleakness of winter, the inversion that seems to be getting worse each year, the freezing temperatures, and the dirty snow…they all add up to make me just feel like taking a bath and getting into bed.

I have found that there are some things I can do to help me feel a little more “sunshine” in my day, because I’ll be honest, if there is no sunshine I have a hard time functioning effectively. Some of these tricks may work for you too…

  1. I always make sure I have some time planned in the winter months to go somewhere warm and sunny. With the inversion there are sometimes weeks when we don’t see the sunshine here, and that can make the coldness even more depressing. I’m so excited that this year Brandon is taking me to Costa Rica for my birthday in February – but anywhere warm would be amazing.
  2. I make sure that I still keep up on my self care – pedicures, spending time with girlfriends and such. It can become so easy to neglect yourself when all you want to do is hibernate, but that’s the time when it’s the most important.
  3. I make myself do some kind of winter activity that gets me outside. Of course I make sure that I am properly prepared with the right clothes, otherwise it wouldn’t be fun. When sledded at the cabin I didn’t spend hours outside, but the little time that I did made me appreciate the warm cabin, and most importantly it made me appreciate the beauty of winter a little bit more.
  4. Stay true to a workout routine. It’s so much easier to exercise when it’s warm outside, I definitely miss my mountain bike, but staying strong during winter will actually give you more energy and make you feel better. Whatever your workout regimen is, whatever you choose to do, find something that is reasonable and that you can stick to. It’s no good having the best intentions of an intense workout and then quitting after the first week.
  5. I work every day on finding something to appreciate about that day. I realized that I used to count down to warmer spring days, to my next vacation, to some upcoming date or event, and I realized that I was wishing my life away. Winter is here, may as well enjoy it and find something to appreciate in its bleakness and beauty.

There are so many things about winter that even I, an intense summer lover, can appreciate. I love to drive around and look at snow covered homes and yards, see the Christmas lights that tend to stay up throughout the month of January, and look for the biggest icicles possible. Finding something to appreciate about something that is not your favorite, that’s the key to finding a little more joy in your journey of life.

I have realized that each year we have 4 seasons and I am wishing away 1/4 of my life if I don’t find something good or something I can appreciate about winter.

You may be thinking I am crazy about not loving winter because summer or another season may be your least favorite, well the same applies to that too. What can you find about your least favorite time of the year to appreciate and let me know if it makes that time more enjoyable…

Happy weekend friends…

Goals NOT Resolutions

Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it!

I see so many posts on social media, and so many people talking about what their New Year Resolution is going to be each year it started me thinking…how long do people actually keep their resolutions? We all start out with the best intentions but somehow around mid-February everything has been thrown out the window.

I think this happens because our resolutions are made based on things we think we SHOULD be doing or not doing, because we want to make a change but we aren’t quite committed enough to the outcome to stick to it, or sometimes because we are worried about what other people think.

Quitting is so much easier than doing something consistently and changing habits. I have even found myself justifying that if I did something wrong it’s not a big deal because nobody keeps resolutions anyway. It’s also really common to think that if you do screw up that you may as well just quit now because it’s never going to work. Dieting when it’s not important enough to you can have the same effect! I have watched many people I know over the years make a mistake and eat something they shouldn’t so they either just quit completely or recommit to start on Monday.

As you all know by now that my husband, the coach, works with a lot of clients and what he recommends telling yourself is that you want to do this BECAUSE…what is the reason that you really want to do this? If it is dieting, it could be because you want to be healthier & have more energy so you can spend more time doing activities with your kids or spouse. If it’s quitting or changing your job, then what is the reason there? For me, when I started planning quitting my job, it was because I wanted more freedom to travel and make more money. The key is to find the reason that works for you.

I have always thought that resolution was such a flimsy word which is why I prefer to call them GOALS. We all have goals and the New Year isn’t the only time we start working towards those goals. That’s the main thing here…there’s never a bad time to start. It doesn’t matter your age, what your goals are, or how lofty they are, if you start…you are always going to end up closer than you would be if you procrastinated.

So this 2019…it still sounds crazy to me so be saying 2019…I am looking for goals that challenge me, scare me, help me grow, give me more freedom and patience but most importantly that help me gain stronger connections and relationships.

What is one thing that is so important to you BECAUSE…?

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


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Snow – a Love Hate Relationship

When it snows you have two choices…shovel or make snow angels!

The beauty is all around us, the serenity, the wonder, the bleakness. Sitting in a cabin looking out over a gorgeous valley of rolling hills, mountains and farms and watching my kids sled and ski down the hill. It is a beauty that I can’t deny but for me that’s much easier to say when I am sitting inside the cabin by a cozy fire rather than being outside.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with snow – I can’t deny the fact that there is true beauty but I am also not a fan of how cold it can be.

When I came over and went to the U.S. I had never skied before, so for one of my classes I took skiing at Grand Targhee ski resort. My roommate and I were actually featured in the local newspaper and they named us the “snow angels” because on a snow/powder day we went up there and they captured our pictures with snowflakes in our hair and on our eyelashes…I guess they thought we looked cute.

I did actually love the experience of skiing but as the years have progressed, as I’ve been unable to ski due to being pregnant or having young kids, the fun just seems to have gone away. That’s not to say I won’t ever get it back, but for now the feeling that I don’t want to pay to be cold is kind of where I’m at. I love being with my family, and I have promised the boys that I will go at least once this year, but that’s probably all I can muster.

Many, many years from my college days, but not too many miles away from Grand Targhee resort we are in Star Valley, hibernating in the cold and enjoying family time playing games.

I did spend a little time outside today, but only a little. I sledded with my youngest, Reiken, and actually had fun. I found that I liked sledding in the inner tube kind of sled much more because those kind of sleds don’t hurt when you go over bumps…am I really turning into the fun sponge my kids say I am? I think not – at one time a few years ago I would have been content not going outside at all…

As I think about these winter months stretched ahead of I’m not going to deny that a lot of the time I will be wishing for warmer days, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find some fun in the winter as well. My winter goals for this year are about finding things to do with my family that don’t have to involve just being inside, but that also involve some outdoor and chilly activities. Let’s see how this goes…

Choose Joy

When you choose joy you feel good, & when you feel good, you do good.  When you do good it reminds others what joy feels like & it just might inspire them to do the same!

I have to admit I am enjoying this Christmas season much more than I have in the past, and I know it is because I don’t have a lot of the work stresses that I used to have before I changed my career!  I have found that I am able to focus so much more on the joy of this time of year rather than feeling so frantic and rushed.

I have had the time this year to be even more thoughtful and creative with the gifts I give (because giving gifts to those I love is one of my favorite things to do).  I think it means so much more to give a well thought out gift.  Because I have experienced so much less hustle and bustle I have been able to feel the spirit of the season and feel amazing gratitude for all that I have.  Do you ever feel so busy that you don’t take the time to appreciate what is right in front of you?  I have definitely been guilty of that throughout my life, but there’s something about getting older that makes you appreciate what you have and who is in your life so much more.

Christmas is the perfect time of year to ponder our blessings and more than that, to show appreciation to those we love for what they do for us.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like my kids don’t get what they want for pretty much the entire year, but at Christmas, there seems to be so much more wonder and love.  

I love that my childhood years were spent in England celebrating Christmas with Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles and Cousins, and that we managed to stretch it out over 2 full days (of course with the added Boxing Day).  I remember one year we played a game with my family that required us to play a cassette tape, listen to the first few notes, the beat or just the lyrics and try to figure out what the name of the song was.  It believe it was called “Name that tune”.  It had us rolling on the floor laughing by the end, because as you can imagine playing with 3 generations of people, the musical tastes are so different.  I don’t remember who won, and it really doesn’t matter, what was fun was that we were connecting, laughing, and loving each others’ company!

As I am much older now I realize that those memories are something that I can draw on when things seem dark and dreary.  In fact, it has made me even more determined to create amazing memories for our kids.  I hope that they will one day feel the same way I do about my childhood, and share great memories with their own kids.

As you can tell by my picture today, I am having fun & feeling joy.  I have found that when I don’t get so caught up in being something for someone else and just have fun being me…that’s when I am the happiest.  Maybe you could try this as a Christmas gift to yourself 😉

I hope that some of my silliness and joy rubs off to you so that you can have a fabulous Christmas and Holiday Season.


Snow Days

In the depth of winter I found that there was in me an invincible summer!

I had visited Utah many times when I was younger, visiting family and eventually when I came over to go to school here.  Whenever I returned to England I always missed the mountains and their beauty.  It was a strange feeling to miss a place and feel so at home in a place that I had never lived.

It’s been over 20 years since I moved here now and even though I miss England I still consider Utah my home…I love summers especially and I do love the beauty of the snow.  I am not a huge fan of cold weather, there is no denying the beauty of the sunshine against the beautiful white mountains and blue skies.  

This weekend I am spending time with my youngest 2 boys up in Midway (a small town about 45 minutes outside of Salt Lake City), and as you can see the snow is bringing real beauty here. I took a moment to snap a few pictures of me playing with the snow and acting silly and I have to admit, it felt really good.  Sometimes we get so caught up in our day to day lives, and I know that I have a tendency to be a little too serious sometimes.  So I have to admit, when I allow myself to let it go and I am not the “fun sponge” like my kids have been known to call me, I actually have been known to have a little fun (even when I’m cold).

Don’t be surprised if you actually find some posts and pictures of me over the next few months in full winter gear, sledding and skiing.  I promised Brandon and the boys that I would do a little of each.  In fact, between Christmas and New Year we will be going to our family cabin in Star Valley Wyoming and pretty much all we will be doing is hibernating and a few winter activities.

When it’s a beautiful, sunny winter day, it’s the perfect time to add a little fur to your wardrobe and have fun with it.  I am wearing a cute black fur vest, I added a plum colored beanie and my great Sorel winter/rain booties.  Throw on a pair of faux leather leggings, and cozy winter sweater, your favorite sunnies and voila…the perfect winter look!
You can shop my look and some similar looks by clicking the links below…


Top 5 Style Trends to Help you Make it Through Winter

“If you want to go big, stop thinking small!”

There are just some styles that are timeless, ageless and for any season!  Leopard print works for just about any season, but I especially love it in the Fall and Winter, and find that there are so many great outfit options…

For today’s outfit I just grabbed a Black turtle neck, Black pants and some funky block heeled dark Green shoes.  The Leopard jacket is just the icing on the cake, and pulls the whole look together.

 

 

I think we all have that “go to” look that no matter what we can just pull it out of the closet and run.  For even the most novice style conscious dresser, adding a leopard jacket over a plain Black outfit is something that doesn’t require a lot of thought, planning or even coordination.  In fact, all you need to do is throw on the jacket and run…

If you are looking for some simple yet stylish ideas to get you through the last months of Winter…here are five of my favorites:

  1. A faux fur jacket, vest or accents – even if you are against animal cruelty, faux fur is one of those fashion essentials that works for any age.  You can throw a jacket over your already fabulous outfit, add a vest to make your current outfit pop or just find a great sweater with fur accents, or even a scarf to add a touch of something that is uniquely you to your outfit.
  2. Sock booties – I honestly can tell you I don’t know what I did before these were invented.  I love how they cling to my legs so they work under a pair of pants or with a skirt, don’t require zipping, and especially love how sexy they look with a funky pair of tights.
  3. We’ve already talked about leopard – but i’ll list it here anyway!
  4. Glitter or sparkles – like the Silver leggings I own, a sequined piece or just something to lift your spirits on a Grey day!
  5. Red lipstick – there’s nothing more bold then a great Red lipstick in the winter.  Typically your skin will be a little paler, you might be feeling a little drab, a lot of winter colors tend to be darker, so add a pop of Red to your lips and pucker up!

Of course, as you look at this list, don’t just wear something because I say they’re my favorites…if sparkles or glitter are not YOU…then don’t do it!!

(This post contains some affiliate links – if you click and purchase something from one of these links at no additional cost to you I will receive a small commission!)

Below are some of my favorite picks from the list that you can shop…